Improved rice increases productivity and market access for Bolivian rice farmers
Bioversity-CIAT Alliance, a lead center of the CGIAR Research Program on Rice (RICE), and the Latin American Fund for Irrigated Rice (FLAR) have disseminated germplasm through local partners across Latin America. This partnership has contributed to breeding hundreds of improved varieties, including the popular MAC-18 variety, that now support rice production.
In Bolivia, the strategic partnership between Bioversity-CIAT and FLAR has contributed to the development of improved rice varieties. In 2008, this alliance resulted in the release of the MAC-18 variety of improved rice.
Within six years of being released, MAC-18 had been adopted by one out of four Bolivian rice producers. MAC-18 is the first variety developed by a national breeding program to reach such high rates of dissemination.
MAC-18 has been well received by both producers and the industry because of its good adaptation in different production systems and its high grain quality. Currently, the variety is the most planted, representing 58% of the total area produced in both rainfed and irrigated systems.
MAC-18, an improved rice variety codeveloped by CGIAR, is the most planted variety in Bolivia and represents 58% of the total area produced in both rainfed and irrigated systems.
For smallholders, the adoption of MAC-18 has increased the likelihood of adopting other improved management decisions, such as fertilizer use and land mechanization, and having access to a more significant market share, in terms of rice volumes sold.
Farmers who adopt MAC-18 rice are more likely to adopt other high-productivity technologies and increase their rice sales.
The benefits of MAC-18 have been sustained since its initial success, strengthening collaborative work between Bioversity-CIAT and FLAR. The partnership has led to the release of new biofortified varieties in collaboration with Harvest Plus, and an increase in capacity-building and knowledge exchange in breeding, agronomic management, and grain quality.
Although collaboration has grown, more work is needed to close the yield gap in rice production systems in Bolivia. The results achieved by the development and dissemination of MAC-18 demonstrate the impact of strategic alliances with local breeding programs.